When it comes to protein, chicken tends to be the most regularly consumed meat in my house.
Grilled breasts, whole roasted birds, chicken soups, chicken salads, shredded chicken for tacos, stews … and the list goes on.
Chicken is one of the simplest and most versatile meats to work with in the kitchen. And there’s not much that beats the overall quality and flavor from chicken that is locally sourced.
Of all of the preparation techniques for fresh chicken, one of the most satisfying is meat that has been slowly roasted in the oven, yielding a super crispy skin and succulent moist meat within.
Before roasting, I generally start with some sort of seasoning rub, letting the flavors infuse in the refrigerator before cooking. My choice of seasonings tends to vary from day to day depending on the flavor profile I’m looking for.
Lately I’ve been regularly pulling out the dried oregano, seasoned salt, a little garlic powder, ground cumin and a small amount of chili powder for a little pop of color and hint of added spice. Sometimes I’ll use fresh lemon zest and minced garlic instead, or a garam masala mix, delivering notes of cinnamon, coriander and cumin throughout.
For my roasted chicken recipe this week, I sourced some beautiful young chicken quarters from the Jimenez Family Farm, which raises its birds in Santa Ynez. With the leg firmly attached to the thigh, once this chicken is slowly roasted in the oven, the meat, including the crispy skin, will fall right off of the bone. This simple preparation is excellent when served with a side of roasted seasonal vegetables.
I would also recommend a side of mashed potatoes for this one, garnished with chopped parsley or green onions.
Roasted Seasoned Chicken Quarter
2 chicken quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Drizzle your chicken with olive oil and rub around all sides of the chicken with your hands.
In a small bowl, combine remaining seasoning ingredients and mix together. Sprinkle seasoning on all sides of the chicken and massage in with your hands. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. I usually do this in the morning before that evening’s dinner, but it can also be done a day in advance.
Place the skin side up in a baking dish and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. The skin should be super crispy, and the meat should be falling right off the bone. Place a chicken quarter on each plate, alongside roasted veggies, or any side of choice.
Yield: Serves 2 large chicken servings.You also can serve the meat already removed from the bone and split into it into 4 smaller portions.